Holidays are great times for getting pictures of family and friends. Everyone is together, and normally having a good time; it is people at their best.
It’s also important from a historical perspective. You might be tempted to skip taking the camera, but think about how many times you’ve looked back on old photos of family and friends. For better or worse, those pictures mark the progression of your life. I’ve never looked back on any family event or place I’ve visited and wished I’d spent less time taking pictures—it’s almost always the opposite.
So take the camera. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your holiday pictures, whether you have an inexpensive point-and-shoot or the finest DSLR on the market.
When you can, brace yourself against a wall, a chair, or something sturdy to give yourself a little extra stability, particularly when shooting indoors. This is a bigger problem with small cameras using an LCD screen at arm’s length than with larger cameras, which you’re holding closer to your eye.
I’m notorious for bumping my camera mode selector, so I check it religiously. Check to make sure your camera is on the proper setting. But don’t be afraid to deliberately fiddle with the settings to get a different look; just remember where they were when you started!
Yes, even pros get fingers in the way of the flash sensor and the lens, especially with those little point-and-shoot cameras. Stay aware of how you hold the camera.
Everyone does group pictures before going their separate ways, so think of something different. Shoot pictures at the breakfast table, while traveling somewhere, or at other times.
Experiment. Lie on the ground. Find a higher perspective or some other unusual angle. I once took a picture from the perspective of the Thanksgiving turkey being carried to the table; it’s one of our family favorites. It costs nothing to delete digital pictures, so don’t be afraid to be creative.
Use doors and windows as natural frames. Framing adds visual impact, so use doors and windows to your advantage.
Sometimes it’s textural details that spur the most vivid memories: a close-up of someone’s hands, the colors of a favorite shirt. Get in close and emphasize the details and textures of your subject.
Try to find a perspective where a road, path, or other picture element leads your eye to the subject. Instead of standing over there by that house, take a perspective farther back and use the path to lead in to the subject.
Take pictures on bad weather days, too. Every day does not have to be a sunny day. Rainy days have their own special appeal, and dark clouds can add drama to any scene.
Mainly, just have some fun. As I look back at my pictures, the ones I like the best are sometimes just pictures of nothing special. A grove of trees outside our old house, a picture of my mom in the kitchen with my nephew and his fiance, candid moments when I just pointed the camera and pushed the button without really even thinking about it.
About the Author:
Peter Timko writes on behalf of Proud Photography
I HAVE DONE A BLOG BEFORE ABOUT DOING STILL PHOTOGRAPHY. (SEE: http://123photogo.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-art-of-still-life-photography.html)
BECAUSE OF THIS SPECIAL PRESENTATION ON “THE ART OF STILL PHOTOGRAPHY” AND COLLECTING FROM THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THE WORLD, A GALLERY OF PHOTOS FOR OUR VIEWING PLEASURE, I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE GOOD TO DO A QUICK PRESENTATION ON THE “TIPS OF HOW TO DO STILL PHOTOGRAPHY”
2- GET IN CLOSE TO YOUR SUBJECT. MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY CAN BECOME AN IMPORTANT PART OF STILL LIFE PHOTOGRAPHY, BUT GET IN CLOSE AND FILL THE FRAME. CROPPING DURING THE SHOT WILL BE BETTER THAN CROPPING LATER.
3- YOUR SOURCE OF LIGHTING SHOULD COME FROM ONE SIDE. IF IT COMES FROM THE FRONT, YOUR LIGHTING WILL LOOK A LITTLE FLAT.
4- KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN FOR INTERESTING SUBJECTS. LOOK AROUND IN THE KITCHEN, THE BEDROOM, THE BATHROOM, THE BACKYARD. IF YOU ARE AT THE BEACH, LOOK AROUND, AND IN THE MOUNTAINS, LOOK ALONG THE AREAS THAT YOU WALK.
5- IF YOU HAVE A BACKDROP YOU ARE USING, KEEP THE SUBJECT AWAY FROM THE BACKDROP IF POSSIBLE TO AVOID SHADOWS FALLING ON THE BACKDROP. IF YOU CAN ADD LIGHT TO THE BACKDROP THAT WOULD MAKE IT LOOK EVEN BETTER.
6- A NEW THING YOU CAN ALSO TRY IS TO USE COLORED FILTERS. THIS CAN CREATE STUNNING PHOTOS.
7- ONE PIECE OF EQUIPMENT YOU MUST OWN TO DO THIS RIGHT IS A TRIPOD. SOME OF THE EXTREME SETUPS YOU COULD DO TAKE A LONG TIME. IT TAKES GREAT PATIENCE AS YOU SET UP THE ULTIMATE STILL PHOTO. I DON’T SEE HOW YOU COULD DO STILL PHOTOGRAPHY WITHOUT A TRIPOD.
8- SMALL SUBJECTS WILL OFTEN REQUIRE YOU TO USE A LIGHT BOX. YOU CAN CREATE YOUR OWN OR YOU CAN BUY ONE RELATIVELY INEXPENSIVE TODAY
KEEP IN MIND IT DOESN’T TAKE MUCH TO TAKE AN ORDINARY PHOTO INTO A GREAT PHOTO BY PRACTICING. LOOK AT STILL PHOTOS. FIND STILL PHOTOS AND STUDY THEM. YOU WILL SEE HOW THE SUBJECTS ARE SET UP THAT MAKE THEM MASTERPIECES. AND THEN TRY TO FOLLOW THEM. THIS TOO CAN BE FUN FOR YOU.